Obviously, this week’s article is not for everyone. So that no one might stumble, I would encourage the spiritually immature and those who are not old enough to be reading adult topics to stop reading at this point. I would never want to cause anyone to stumble into the life-damaging world of pornography. But I do believe that this relevant topic makes for a pertinent discussion on the way our society views sin. While God made our bodies, and there is nothing wrong or inappropriate about sharing them with our spouses in the proper context, the world we live in has made a mockery of the design for the human body. Exposing flesh has become a sin of epic proportions. Perhaps, if you read this article, you will reconsider why the arguments for modesty matter so much, and why every little battle has cost far more than we imagined.
In 1953, Hugh Heffner published the 1st Playboy Magazine. It featured Marilyn Monroe. The magazine shocked society. Pictures were banned. Lawsuits erupted. But the world was never the same again, and Playboy’s subscriptions shot through the roof.
But in recent years, Playboy’s sales have decreased from 5.6 million to 800,000. And in a move that has put Playboy in the news again, Hugh Hefner has decided to try something even more shocking…removing nudity from Playboy!
Now, I’m not in favor of anyone reading Playboy. And it would be a mistake to applaud Playboy for this move. They will still be promoting filth. But what I find fascinating is the reasoning behind their decision.
You see, at one time, Playboy was shocking. And people were afraid and ashamed to get caught reading it. But that’s because it wasn’t acceptable in society to expose such things for all to see.
Fast-forward to today. It would be a gross understatement to say that the American culture has changed. Playboy was actually “overtaken by the changes it pioneered” (NY TIMES, Samiya). In justifying their new position, Playboy executive, Scott Flanders, said the following:
“You’re now one click away from every sex act imaginable for free. And so it’s just passé at this juncture.”
Passé? Yes, he said “passé.” Nudity, pornography, and viewing of “every sex act imaginable” are commonplace. And in this culture, what is the only shocking thing Playboy can do? PUT CLOTHES ON THEIR MODELS! Playboy executives noticed that the world was so sinful that their brand of sin was no longer relevant.
Please don’t miss the irony of that! Because, make no mistake…if you missed the insanity there, you may just be too immersed in this modern culture. In order to differentiate themselves, the original nudity magazine will clothe its models. What does that say about the world we live in???
In the prophet Jeremiah’s day, he spoke of a culture that was “not even ashamed at all; they did not even know how to blush” (Jeremiah 6:15; 8:12). In fact, God’s threat would seem more like promotional material in the sin-sick world of today. In Jeremiah 13:26, it was a horrible thought to lift “skirts off over your face, that your shame may be seen.” God proclaimed, “As for your adulteries and your lustful neighings, the lewdness of your prostitution on the hills in the field, I have seen your abominations.”
I suppose there is nothing new under the sun. But perhaps, just perhaps, this might be a wake-up call to some people of just how bad things have gotten and how far we have come from God’s purpose for our bodies.
Perhaps we have hit a wall though. Perhaps it is almost a time like it was when God declared, “’they shall fall among those who fall; at the time that I punish them, they shall be cast down,’ says the LORD” (Jeremiah 6:15). Will you be among those who are cast down? Or will you be among those who took a stand against the culture and the world in which we find ourselves today.